Sep 11, 2013 2:19pm
Well, I’m back from the Lockn’ Festival out in Nelson County, VA. First year festival with an ambitious artist lineup. I was lucky in that a free 4 day pass fell into my lap – I was Staff and was helping out with the Klean Kanteen folks out of Chico, CA. More on KK later.
I got there Wednesday afternoon and am thankful I did. Despite elaborate traffic control plans, that in theory would have worked, all it takes is one overzealous VA State Trooper to start directing traffic into a field that had no exit. By the time they got that unfucked, traffic was backed up on 29 North and South for miles. The average wait to get inside the venue was between 8-10 HOURS.
Once inside everything was about what you’d expect for a gate of 25,000. The event was held at the Oak Ridge race track – I think it’s a horse track. Main Stages were set up side by side inside the oval with vendor rows running down the inside and directly across from the stage.
Festival opened on Friday with Keller and the Keels. Keller Williams with Larry and Jenny Keel. They always put on a great show, but I exceeded my Keller RDA after about 5 songs. He did play crowd favorites “Freeker By the Speaker” and “Portapotty“ – hold the port-a-potty thought. Since most people were still trying to get in, the crowd was thin, maybe 2,000. This was after the start had been pushed back an hour to get people inside. Next up was the Warren Haynes Band and they really got things going. “A Change Is Gonna Come” was the highlight for me.
The crowd was replete with hippie wannabe kids running around with feathers and jellyfish puppets on sticks – they were there, no doubt, for the String Cheese Incident. I like the Cheese, but haven’t warmed up to their new material after their return from hiatus. I was happy to hear them open with older material (“Desert Dawn”, “Best Feeling” (with Keller) and “Texas”). Some people consider them hippie-lite-elevator-music, but they have a devoted following and didn’t disappoint. They played two sets separated by Government Mule with Grace Potter sitting in. Say what you want about her decision to sell out and go major label with the accompanying tits and ass shaking on stage, but she can really sing. Highlights from the Mule set was of course “Thorazine Shuffle” and the requisite “Soulshine”, but Grace Potter absolutely crushed “Dear Prudence” and “Gold Dust Woman”
Cheese’s second set had enough old school material to be enjoyable, but it also had enough new stuff that I felt no reason to wade into the sea of patchouli slathered 19 year olds wearing jellyfish costumes.
Day 1 goes in the books as a success – despite the horrendous traffic issues and delays. No doubt the Festival organizers were counting on the upcoming bands and people having a short memory.
Day 2 dawns warm, with low humidity. It is then that the people camped in the remote lots realize that there is insufficient water capacity. And no port-a-potties. For dudes that’s not an issue since the world is our urinal, but it presented a bit of an issue for the ladies. I lost count of how many girls just peeled off their panties, squatted and peed on the ground. And their feet.
Fortunately, I was in Staff camping with limited access. We also had a bank of port-a-potties. And hippie chicks who peed on their feet.....
Moving on from the subject of sanitation and personal hygiene. The Day 2 line-up had everyone abuzz – mostly because Furthur was playing 2 sets, but also because of the rumor that Neil Young would be sitting in with Pegi and the Survivors. Some of us who are a little more broadly refined (can that happen) knew that the Founding Fathers are immensely talented. For those of you who don’t know, the FF are Chris Pandolfi (banjo) and Andy Falco (guitar) from the Infamous Stringdusters. Chris was playing a modified electric banjocaster, while Andy was on his Strat. Predominantly instrumental, with some looping, and pretty much a completely improvised jam. They did “cover” the Dusters “Fork In The Road” with their own touch. I overheard one girl in the crowd remark that they sounded like a slightly rednecked David Gilmour. Still trying to figure out if that was a compliment to the Founding Fathers or an insult to David G. There may have been around 4000 watching, those who skipped out missed a great show. Sure, I’m a little biased towards anything Stringdusters related, but it really was good.
I should mention that there were two “main” stages, set up side-by-side. There literally was 30 seconds between bands. The Founding Fathers finished their set, the crowd cheered and clapped, then turned 45 degrees to their right as Pegi Young and the Survivors started. This was my first time seeing Pegi’s band and I wasn’t familiar with much of her material. I enjoyed it and was happy when Neil sat in.
A buzz of energy began running through the crowd as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Soul Rebels kicked off their set. For the next hour and a half we were swamped with drippy, gooey New Orleans funk.
Jimmy Cliff followed and his set was spectacular – as much for the music as for the banter between songs. I’m usually not much for banter, but considering it was JIMMY CLIFF and we were hearing stories about the origins of each tune and their historical context and significance in the formative years of the reggae genre, it was perfect. For about 9 seconds I actually considered growing dreadlocks. Here’s his setlist:
Rivers of Babylon
King of Kings
Honor Your Mother & Father
Puppet on a String
Fussing and Fightin'
Wonderful World, Beautiful People
World Upside Down
Many Rivers to Cross
The Harder They Come
Sitting in Limbo
I Can See Clearly Now
You Can Get It If You Really Want
Come Into My Life
Johnny Too Bad
The Cheeseheads flooded back onto the field for the String Cheese set. This set was by far and away their best of the weekend. All old material – “Valley of the Jig”, “Yo Se” and “Restless Wind” were great. YMMV. I was ambivalent about the Zac Brown Incident planned for later in the evening.
Everyone knew what they were really there for. The anticipation was palpable as it got closer to Furthur’s first set of the weekend. Rumor had it Zac Brown was going to sit in which let many of the wandering Heads scratching their bald spots and graying beards and wondering “How?” and “What tunes?”
Note: The link has both the 7:30 and the 10:30 Furthur sets.http://archive.org/details/Furthur2013-09-06.AKGc1000sDR-40
9/6 - Furthur - Lockn' Music Festival, Arrington, VA
Cold Rain and Snow
Dark Star 1>
Eyes Of The World>
Dark Star 2>
Free> Into the Mystic> Free*
Help On The Way>
E: Touch Of Grey
*w/ Zac Brown
Fantastic performance. Period. Shakedown, Wheel and Cold Rain and Snow were highlights from the first set. The Dark Star>Eyes>Saint Stephen>Unbroken>Dark Star sequence in the late night set was superb. I know there are more than a few on the Forum who don’t like John K. Get over your purist selves. He can play and he can play well. “But he’s not Jerry and never will be.” No shit. “There are so many other guys who are better.” Maybe, but Bobby and Phil must have seen something or they wouldn’t have asked him right? It’s not like they didn’t stand with a fine guitar player for 30+ years or anything.... Whatever..... I’m not here to debate. I’m beginning to think that people who refuse to acknowledge John’s ability are a bunch of piss and vinegar curmudgeons who would bitch about being hung with a new rope because it scratched their neck just before snapping it.....moving on.
Zac Brown sits in – Bobby blows him a kiss. There’s a fantastic picture of Zac with Bobby and Phil with huge smiles on their faces. Sure, Zac chunked “Tennessee Jed”, but it was amazing watching two distinctly separate genres with artists separated by a generation performing together. I love music festivals for that reason. http://www.locknfestival.com/photos.php?gallery=Friday
Worth looking at all, Zac and Furthur are pictures 76, 79, 81, 83 and 86.
Between the Furthur sets, the Zac Brown Incident occurred. They played a couple of old school Cheese tunes with Zac. I was underwhelmed.
Here’s where it gets fun. We got the word that Bobby and Phil were going to be doing an after party in the Super VIP tent around 1:30-2:00AM. We all wanted to get in so we hiked on over to the VIP tent to see if we could figure out a way. I quietly observed the process. Security was pretty strict about checking wristbands. You had to have a VIP/Super VIP wristband. The younguns I was with were bummed as they all had Staff wristbands, and it appeared as if they were content with standing outside the tent and listening – you could actually hear pretty well. This was merely a wrinkle to be overcome. I went back to the food vendor area and grabbed two empty aluminium food trays. I place one over top the other and folded the edges over. Carrying them as if they were full, I walked right up to security and started to walk through. He stopped me and said I couldn’t go in with a Staff wristband. I looked at him and asked “Dude, what’s your name?” He replied with a snarky “Why do you want to know?” My response: “Because if you don’t let me in, I’m going to dump this food in the trash can, and when they call back to the other VIP tent wondering where the food is, I’m going to tell them that you stopped me from coming in and if Bob Weir wants a chicken tenderloin he’s going to have to walk his happy ass over to the other tent and get it himself!!!” I thoroughly enjoyed the ensuing short acoustic set.http://archive.org/details/furthurlate2013-09-06.flac16
The Race Is On
Me And My Uncle
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Tom Thumb Blues
Day 3 dawned after a refreshing and much needed 1.5 hours of sleep.....there were no shower facilities in the camping lots. Fortunately, Staff was allowed to use the VIP shower facilities. Unfortunately, it was a mile away from our campsite so by the time we got back, we pretty much needed another shower. I consoled myself with the thought that it was at least clean, new sweat.
I wasn’t too fired up about the lineup until later in the evening. I’ve seen Love Canon several times and the novelty of hearing 70s and 80s hits being played by a bluegrass band wears off quickly. J Geils Band “Centerfold” should not be played on a banjo. Some would argue that it shouldn’t be played at all. Other covers were “Money For Nothing” and “Let’s Get Physical”. The crowd loved it. Don’t get me wrong – they are all very talented musicians, but I don’t need to see them. I hung out in the Klean Kanteen tent in the shade.
Next up was London Souls. Never heard of them. I was waiting for my second wind to kick in so I wasn’t really paying attention, but what I heard sounded pretty good.
The Punch Brothers took the stage next and crushed their set. Chris Thile on mandolin, Noam Pikelny on banjo, Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Chris Eldridge on guitar (original Stringdusters guitar player) and Paul Kowert on bass. Together these guys have serious cred in classic bluegrass but they were not constrained. They were all over the map and were amazing. They even did a bluegrassy version of what I would call “Spacegrass”. Thile is a man possessed. It was good.
Next up were the Black Crowes. I had heard a lot of their stuff before, but had not seen them live. They were phenomenal and had the crowd of 20,000 roaring after every song. Hell, they even had me doing the “51 year old white guy” dance. And I know I looked better than many of the hippie sea anemones waving spastically in the crowd.
(Only) Halfway to Everywhere
High Head Blues
Thick N' Thin
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Thorn in My Pride
She Talks to Angels
Good Morning Captain
Hard to Handle
This was a really great set and I’m almost embarrassed to admit it took me this long to hear these guys live.
The Trey Anastasio Band was up next and I already have an anti-Phish bias which projects onto TAB. That said, I really enjoyed their set. Even when Trey would talk in that squirrelly high voice he has. His lead female vocalist was immense. I probably would not go see Trey and his band, but it didn’t suck as bad as I thought it would. Lots of the kids coming to the Klean Kanteen water station would carry on about how great they are. When I told them I didn’t like Phish (or Trey that much) and the aimless, endless noodling with ridiculous lyrics, they looked at me like I had just licked all the red off their candy cane. (Come back to that craven).
I was really looking forward to the Widespread Panic with John Fogerty set. Lots of speculation in the crowd about what would be played. Surprise Valley is one of my favourite Panic tunes so I was glad to hear this one. Even the most hardcore Spreadhead had to be pleased with this setlist. Fogerty lit up the stage and the crowd fed off his energy.
Henry Parsons Died
Ribs & Whiskey
Bust It Big
Ain't Life Grand
With John Fogerty –
Born on the Bayou
Bad Moon Rising
Old Man Down The Road
Keep On Chooglin'
You could have ended Saturday right here and everyone would have been happy. But we all knew what was planned and this was the set I was most looking forward to. Furthur played all of Workingman’s Dead and they did a fine job. Phil was lost or something and there was an extended intro into UJB. New Speedway Boogie was very well done IMO.http://archive.org/details/furthur2013-09-07.flac16
Uncle John's Band
New Speedway Boogie
From Casey Jones to the end Trey Anastasio sits in. While I doubt I will ever be a Phish fan, Trey can play. I think he’s better when he’s not lead. I was curious to see how things went between him and John K, and to Trey’s credit (as if he needs validation from me), he sounded really good. I thought he did a great job on Scarlet>Fire. His voice is a touch too high for me and Bertha had a certain muppet like vocal quality – but his guitar playing was undeniably solid.
Furthur with Trey:
The Other One
Viola Lee Blues
Fire on the Mountain
E: Touch of Grey
Phil was playing a late night after party set, but it was a two mile walk and Gentleman Jack said I wasn’t allowed to go.
Now comes the only bummer part of my whole festival. I got back to my campsite around 2:30 AM. I noticed one of the edges of the rain fly on my tent had come unstaked so I flip on my headlamp to fix it figuring some drunk hippie must have tripped over it. Then I notice that every single stake had been pulled. It’s a Kelty Mantra 5 tent with 12 stakes for the fly and 4 for the footprint. I seethed. The stakes are anodized aluminium and run about $4.00 each. I keep an extra set on hand so set about restaking my tent while cursing the “dirty stinky hippie shitknuckle rat bastard” that did this. As I come to the door on the fly I notice it’s partially open. I stick my head in the tent and blood pressure instantly triples. My cot has been taken apart and all my clothes have been tossed all over the inside of the tent. At least I find the missing stakes......in my dirty clothes bag. 'Die you dirty, stinky hippie, shitknuckle rat bastard that did this'. At least nothing was missing, but who the fuck does this? I lay awake bitching to myself for two hours. I should have gone to see Phil as I didn’t even listen to myself bitch.
Day 4 – We all had a slight foreboding feeling of melancholy that always rears up on the last day of a festival. I broke camp so I could jump in the truck as soon as the Furthur set was over and head home. I would have stayed over, but I had a memorial and internment for a great American and patriot co-worker to go to (referred to in an earlier post).
The Hackensaw Boys from Richmond/Charlottesville kicked things off with gusto. Edgy, twin fiddle testostegrass come close to describing them. Despite the early set, the crowd was probably around 8000 and they were well received.
Colonel Bruce Hampton was up next and he can still bring it. “He looked to be in pretty good health although he sat for most of the set. They played “Fixin’To Die”.....we were hoping it didn’t mean anything. Eric Krasno from Soulive sat in and it was a solid set from the Colonel.
I was really looking forward to Tedeschi-Trucks. I’ve seen Derek and his band numerous times, but this was my first time with Tedeschi-Trucks. Fabulous. It turned into a free for all with half of the Black Crowes joining in for the last few tunes.
The Crowes had to run quickly to the other stage since they followed immediately after Tedeschi-Trucks were done. They put on another fantastic set and as expected, they brought a bunch of guests up. The crowd went bat shit as almost all of the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, along with Bobby, got up on stage together for a rousing rendition of Lovelight. This ushered in the second occurrence of the 51 year old white guy dance.
Widespread Panic performed next and they went out strong. Derek Trucks sat in for a couple of tunes and watching him and Jimmy Herring jamming together was a highlight.
I had made the decision to be on the road no later than 9:00 PM, which should have allowed me to see the first couple of songs in Furthur’s closing set. They got a late start and I was halfway across the field when I heard Terrapin rolling across at me. It was all I could do to not turn around and go back. Susan Tedeschi and Jimmy Herring joined in.....making me wish I had stayed.http://archive.org/details/Furthur2013-09-08.AKGc1000sDR-40
Jam>Terrapin Station Suite>
Samson and Delilah*
Brown Eyed Women^
Box Of Rain^
Weather Report Suite Pt 1>
Let It Grow
Playin In The Band*>
Standing On The Moon*>
Terrapin Station Suite
Encore: Brokedown Palace
*w/ Susan Tedeschi
Good thing I left when I did. It was a three hour trip to get there, but it took me 4 ½ hours to get home. The four plus days of music festing had accumulated and I needed four stops to shake myself awake, finally rolling in at 1:30 AM. I gave Mrs. Mando a kiss – she said “You smell awful.” I replied “Love ya too hon.”
Woke up the next day with a raging sinus infection that took two days of antibiotics and triple doses of Mucinex to knock down. Small price to pay for a really good festival.
Already looking forward to next year..........
Getting back to the Klean Kanteen thing. KK is a group out of Chico, CA that offers stainless steel container solutions to festivals and event to help reduce or eliminate the single use plastic waste stream. A lot of the festivals KK does, sponsor a logoed steel pint cup that can be reused for beer, soda or water and you’d be amazed at how much plastic waste is eliminated. The field was littered with empty water bottles and beer cups after every band. Hopefully next year, the Lockn’ organizers can close the deal and have a cup with a logo rather than generating the metric shitload of plastic waste that happened this year. KK also has a very nice line of thin walled rolled stainless bottles in various volumes that weigh less than comparable volume nalgene bottles and are much more durable. Their insulated products keep hot hot and cold cold. In addition to having KK products for sale, we also set up four water stations on the main field. I was stunned to find out we were the only water source at the venue. It was a lot of fun as we were less than 200 yards in a straight line from the stages, the sound was great and we got to interact with thousands of festival goers.
This post was modified by Mandojammer on 2013-09-11 21:19:24